Monday, December 12, 2011

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling (book #5)

Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix by J. K. Rowling (book 5)
Pages:  870
Release Date:  June 21st, 2003
Date Read:  2011, November 18th-28th
Received: Own
Rating:  5/5 stars
Recommended to:  15+

This summary contains spoilers to the previous books! If you have not read Harry Potter books 1-4 I suggest you do not read the Summary. The actual review holds no spoilers.

Summary -
Fifteen-year-old Harry has just seen the unbelievable - during the Triwizard Tournament, he saw Cedric Diggory killed; he saw the Dark Lord rise again before his very eyes; he saw the Death Eaters come to follow their master.  Harry dueled the Dark Lord himself, barely escaping alive.

Now he is back on Privet Drive, tormented by the Dursleys and unable to gain any information: everyone seems intent on keeping him in the dark, including Dumbledore!  But when Dementors attack Little Whinging, Harry is immediately found by a group of wizards and taken to the headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix, the same Order that fought against Voldemort the first time.  For outside, Voldemort is rising, and he may be connected to Harry in ways neither of them yet understand.

My thoughts -
Fifth year - two years left - Oh my holy goodness I can't stand the suspense and yet I'm dreading to continue.  I'm dying to know and yet I'm so scared to find out...and for the suspense to be over.

Can you tell?  I'm conflicted.  Intensely so.

And yet, the pull to continue forward is stronger - DUH - so how can I not?  I mean, if books 4 and 5 were genius, I can only imagine what pure awesomeness lies ahead of me.  I use the awkward phrase "pure awesomeness" here for a lack of a better phrase.

In any case, this book had me in a riot - laughter, anger, boiling-over-mad, happy, gleeful, squealy, and more.  I was so infuriated at all the horrible things that happened - and then I was laughing about how the students retaliated .  It truly is amazing!

Rowling definitely grew as a writer/story-teller since the first book.  I take this as she really has a gift in writing, because she started out great and continually gets better ad better.  I love her style:  her words choices and descriptions are priceless and the way she builds intensity with words is stunning!  It's like she's yelling "STUPEFY!" at you as she builds.  ;)  I've got a lot to learn from this woman.

Character notes -
I have really grown to love Harry.  He's like a bestie now; I feel as though I've gone through all his adventures right beside him.  In this book he is a teenager growing into a man, and I'm very impressed.  His own personal struggles and triumphs add their own kind of severity to the story.

With every new book I feel as though I get to know Harry better - and I usually notice one or two new things about him.  This time, I noticed what a wonderfully caring person he is.  While he could have shunned the less popular boys and girls because he is "the boy who lived", he instead became friends with the less popular crowed, the one more likely to get made fun of or to not be as talented in wizardry.  He has never once regretted this - and his kindness is so apparent in the fifth book.  Hagrid is a mess and absolutely foolish at times, but Harry still loves him.  Ron isn't the best at Quidditch, but Harry keeps encouraging.  Neville is a bit annoying and the brunt of all joke and tricks, but Harry sticks by him.  And all of this has payed off, as we see at the end.

Besides Harry...I still really love Lupin, but Fred Weasley is my hero.  Not even kidding - I was whooping and hollering when he and George made their grand exit!

Ron and Hermione were amazing as well, so clearly exhibited.  I love how everyone brings something different to the table.  In one case, Hermione will think of some grand scheme, Ron will encourage, and Harry will have the guts and skill to do it.  Harry is not perfect; he doesn't come up with every good idea or smart plan.  They balance each other out.

Now, while Fred and Harry are quite amazing, it seems as though I have a new favorite - one who ties with Harry and Fred - one who I was entirely NOT expecting.  Ginny.  Holy smokes that girl!  I couldn't believe it - all of a sudden she's grown up, and gently pushing her way to the main scene.  And I loved her.  She had me laughing - and also sitting on the edge of my seat in awe.  She has gumption, that one, and has made me her 100% biggest fan!

While the leads of this book are perfectly lovely, the antagonists are also worthy of being mentioned - and worthy of your deepest fears.  They had me boiling with anger - so well-written and placed.  They really are epic - and will continue to be so, I am sure.

Story notes -
How to describe a story like this?  SO many layers, so many excellent twists and shocking events and hilarious riots that it's hard to describe.

Some of my favorite aspects of this book are:  Umbridge's detention for how chilling it is;  Fred and George for their general overall perfection and for their very epic escape; the end, for its climax and imagery; the sense of ill that comes with it - you know something bigger than ever before will soon happen; the development about James Potter and Severus Snape; the growing friendships; and Neville.  I just loved his role in this story.

So, was I impressed?
Well, let's just leave it at - "WOW!!!!"

Summing it up -
Dazzling, in a dark, foreboding kind of way.  I don't believe I've ever read anything quite like it; even the previous books have a totally different feel.  They all do, but the uniqueness is becoming more and more distinct.

What a world; what an amazing journey; what characters to love and hate and a story to dive into.  I'm very much in a Harry Potter daze! :D

For the Parents -
The students are getting older and some are entering relationships.  Harry and a girl kiss but it is only reference to.  Snogging is also referenced to (just another term for "making out").  A few D words, some intense violence and dark magic, which may be too much for young readers.  I'd say 15+ is a good age!

Read my other reviews!

1 comment:

  1. It is SO hard to read your reviews and not talk about what will happen in the next books! I can't wait for you to finish. I've had such a blast reading your reviews as you make you way through the series. I'm so happy you're enjoying it and I know just what you mean about wanting to race to the end...but then it will be over! :D